Update : Apr 3, 2006 KST 13:24
The New York Times introduced the Korean mega-hit film "King and the Clown" on its online version on April 1. The movie has drawn an all-time record in Korea of 12 million moviegoers.
In the article written by Seoul correspondent Norimitsu Onishi, the daily reported that one out of four Korean people has watched the movie.
Using the movie, however, the newspaper mainly dealt with homosexual issues in Korean society. It introduced the movie as a "gay-themed" film and reported on Korea’s gay bars in Itaewon and Jongro.
At the same time, the paper quoted the film’s director Lee Jun-ik as saying that his movie is not a work about homosexuality.
In an interview, Lee insisted that his movie did not portray homosexual love as defined by the West. "In the Oscar-winning ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ homosexuality is not a preference, but destiny. My film pursues reality," Lee said.
The newspaper covered the life of clowns through an interview with Kim Ki-bok, who is considered the last surviving itinerant clown. Director Lee consulted Kim when making his film. Kim said, "It was difficult for clowns to get married since they were poor. On a team of clowns, there was typically one male clown called biri who was feminine and beautiful."